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Is Dairy on Your Grocery List? It Should Be!

September 26, 2023

Are you wondering what dairy products to add to your grocery list for your next shopping trip? Well, you’re in the right place! Dairy items can be a fantastic addition to your diet, offering a range of delicious options that provide essential nutrients, including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Not only does dairy help you achieve the healthiest version of you, but it also won’t break the bank—and, if you’re shopping for a family, especially one with growing children, that’s an important piece to keep in mind.

These Products are Dairy Affordable

Milk is used in a lot of food and is essential for a healthy diet. It’s a good idea for kids to start their day off with cereal and milk, refuel after activities with chocolate milk, or wash dinner down with a glass of milk. Luckily, milk is not only a nutrient-dense beverage, but also an affordable one. The USDA reported in July 2023 that the average milk prices in the U.S. are “$4.31 per gallon for conventional whole milk, $4.26 per gallon for conventional reduced fat 2% milk, $4.86 per half gallon organic whole milk, and $4.86 per half gallon organic reduced fat 2% milk.” One gallon is 16 servings (8 oz per serving), which equals $0.27 per serving. In that serving, you’re getting 13 essential nutrients your body needs. 

Comparatively, sports drinks are close to double or more (Walmart shows 5.2 cents per oz, which is $0.42), energy drinks are even higher, and smoothies range from ~$2 for made at-home to $5+ purchased elsewhere.

Dairy is affordable and accessible (you can find it at stores or even food banks), making it easy to incorporate into your daily diet and check off of your grocery list. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, “Nine-in-ten voters with children in public schools who participate in federal nutrition programs say they typically purchase milk (93%) and cheese (91%), while three quarters say they typically purchase yogurt (77%).” 

They Whey to a Balanced Lifestyle

One thing to keep in mind as you grocery shop is that a balanced, nutritious diet isn’t one size fits all. Everyone comes from different cultures, lifestyles, and backgrounds that impact how they eat. While it’s a good idea to incorporate dairy because of its many benefits, you should consider how to work it into your current diet to increase the chance of it sticking. Individuals see more success when they choose a realistic and complementary diet to the habits they’ve already created. 

Ultimately, every diet should include the five food groups: protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and of course dairy! Each food group fuels the body in different ways, and by understanding how each of these pair with each other, you can manage your diet long-term. For example, for breakfast, you can get your fill of protein with some scrambled eggs (add milk for extra creaminess!) with whole grain toast as well as a probiotic and antioxidant boost by eating yogurt and berries.

If you’d like to learn more about these food groups and what they bring to the game, click here.

Oh, What to Get?

Be sure to include some of these dairy products on your next grocery shopping list:

  • Beverages
    • Milk
    • Chocolate milk
  • Probiotics
    • Kefir 
    • Yogurt 
    • Cottage cheese 
    • Buttermilk 
  • Snacks & Additives
    • Cheddar cheese 
    • Parmesan cheese 
    • Heavy cream 
    • Half-and-half
    • Butter 

Want some recipes that help you use dairy products and get all the benefits? Check those out here.

Buying Dairy is the Moo-ve

As you can see, dairy products offer a world of culinary possibilities that can benefit your health and your wallet. From the versatility of milk to the creamy indulgence of yogurt and the richness of cheese, dairy has a place in every kitchen. Not only are these products nutritious, but they’re also affordable. 

When you head out for your next grocery run, remember to include these dairy essentials on your shopping list. Here’s to a healthier, happier you through the joy of balanced eating!

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